Owners of a West Auckland restaurant that allegedly breached the Government's Covid-19 vaccination mandate will finish up with the Lone Star franchise today after refusing to back down to the Government's vaccination mandates.
Lone Star New Lynn owners Stephanie and Brendon Pascoe had until today to comply or face having to step down from the business – which they have done.
On Friday, WorkSafe confirmed it issued two infringement notices on the couple's business for alleged vaccine mandate breaches, with fines totalling $24,000.
In a video posted to YouTube, Stephanie Pascoe threw her hands up, seemingly giving up.
"So yeah – in New Zealand, you're no longer fit to run a business if you're not jabbed. And so that's our new reality, NZ."
She acknowledged that they were now uncertain about their future.
With her voice shaking, Pascoe said: "We are losing our business, our home, along with our incredible loyal staff..."
The restaurant made headlines after posting a job ad saying it would not discriminate against un-vaxxed customers and staff.
Under the Covid-19 Protection Framework, restaurants can only open for dine-in customers during the orange and red traffic light settings if they use vaccine passes. Otherwise, they cannot open unless it's for takeaway services.
In the video, Pascoe said they were prepared to make a stand against the Government and its rules and called on others to unite with them.
"Enough is enough. This Covid response is an over-reach and its impact is killing more people than it is saving.
"Together we must unite and say no more. Please, New Zealand, don't let our sacrifice go unanswered."
Pascoe said the last two years of constant changes with Covid rules and restrictions had been "horrific".
"Firstly, it was two weeks of flattening the curve then never-ending lockdowns and more recently two shots for summer.
"Now with these mandates, we can see no light at the end of the tunnel for our business and for many more."
Pascoe said more businesses were now being hit hard and that those in the Government making the rules are "oblivious" to the work required to keep businesses like theirs afloat.
"They have completely lost their grip on reality.
"Mentally and physically, it's been exhausting trying to make ends meet."